LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Authorities confirm the young man who died after jumping off the I-210 bridge is Taylor Johnson-- the man prosecutors say is the one who started the trouble that ultimately led to the shooting death of Marine Daniel Gueringer at a Fourth of July party in 2009.
Johnson was awaiting trial on a charge of inciting a riot. He figured prominently in the trial of Bryce Perkins earlier this year when various witnesses' testimony suggested Johnson's behavior that night suggested he was looking for a fight, and set in motion the events that ultimately led to the killing.
According to testimony, Johnson called Perkins and another friend, Austin Rousseau, to the party where Gueringer was shot to death. District Attorney John DeRosier said then that Johnson was fixed for trial this summer. "Taylor Johnson is charged with inciting a riot... And he is charged because he's the one who instigated all of this. He's the one that started all the problems at the party."
The trial earlier this year seemed to grip the community as the facts began to unfold. Johnson's trial was refixed for November for inciting a riot. In reacting to Johnson's death, District Attorney John DeRosier said it's a tragedy all the way around. "Taylor Johnson was a troubled young man involved in some charges here at this office. That's all history now. Our hearts simply go out to the family. This was a very unfortunate event. I know that his family's got to be very distraught about all this and again our sympathy goes out to that family."
Services for Taylor Johnson are being handled by Johnson Funeral Home.
According to Calcasieu Sheriff's Deputies, Johnson jumped out of a moving truck crossing the I-210 bridge and climbed onto the bridge railing. Deputies say the driver of the truck tried to talk Johnson down, but that he jumped over the railing. The news release follows.
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